[Beowulf] Re: computer Go

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 10:01:50 PDT 2008

The program was MoGo, http://www.lri.fr/~gelly/MoGo.htm, but I don't know
anything about the "borrowed" hardware.

On 8/8/08, Peter St. John <peter.st.john at gmail.com> wrote:
> The American Go Association (which has a free e-newsletter) at
> http://www.usgo.org/  reports that a machine won an exhibition game with a
> master last night at the US Go Congress. This isn't really historic; the
> master, Myungwan Kim, is an 8 dan professional, and gave 9 handicap stones
> to the machine.
> Very roughly, 8 dan pro would be comparable to 9 dan amateur; and very
> roughly, Kim would be able to give me 9 stones too (I'm 1 dan amateur and
> amateur handicaps equate one stone to one rank, and the mathematician Don
> Weiner 6d beats me easily at 6 stones, althugh I should be able to cope at
> 5).
> 9 stones is very roughly comparable to queen odds at chess, but the
> statistical distributions of Go and Chess are not the same; a Grandmaster of
> chess could maybe give me rook odds, not queen odds; knight odds is roughly
> comparable to two standard deviations, a rating difference of about 400
> points, and I'm about 800 below the world champion  (and I"m comparable in
> go and chess). But again speaking very roughly, this result is in the
> ballpark of achieving amateur 1 dan status, about the level that Ken
> Thompson achieved with Belle in the mid-80's (the first USCF Expert
> machine). Odds games in chess do not have the same probabilistic qualities
> as in Go; we almost never play odds games in chess anymore (it was popular
> for money in the 19th century) but can't get along without handicapping in
> Go, games between quite disparate players can be made interesting.
> I haven't found specifics for the machine or the team yet, but to quote the
> article:
> 800 processors, at 4.7 Ghz, 15 Teraflops on borrowed supercomputers
> A related article said the machine(s) was sited in Europe.
> Peter
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